Death of a Blogging Legend

Steven Den Beste has died. If you weren’t a reader on the very early blogosphere, you may have never heard of him. But for me this is more evidence that the best years of blogging are behind us. Ace at Ace of Spades notes:

I should say that Den Beste belonged to a pre-professional blogging age (such as it may well be), a novice/hobbyist phase, when writers would just write about whatever interested them at that moment, whether it “fit the format” or whatever. Rather like I’ve heard FM radio was when it first came out, as opposed to heavily-programmed/demographically-targeted AM.)

Most of the blogs I still read regularly are the few remaining pre-professional blogs. Instapundit may have rolled into the PJ Media universe, but it’s still largely unchanged in style and format from what it was in the early aughts. There’s very few other blogs still going from those early years. The past decade feels like it’s been a great endarkenment on that front. Most of the commercial venues are vacuous. There are no big ideas. It’s “ra-ra team,” “look at how stupid and wrong those other people are!”, “Gather round the fire and let me tell you what you want to hear.” There’s no more conversation about big ideas, and places to go to read about things no one else is talking about.

I am among a dying breed of bloggers. I don’t do this for a living, and I barely make any money through ads. Most importantly, I don’t care that I don’t, because this was never about money: it was just an outlet. Den Beste’s death feels to me like yet another nail in the coffin of the hobby blog.

4 thoughts on “Death of a Blogging Legend”

  1. Dammit. 2016 can stop any time with this taking of Good Things any time now.

    SDB got me into reading blogs; in a lot of ways I’d give him credit for me turning blogger as well, though it was long after he hung up his own keyboard.

    /me cues up “Stand to your glasses steady”

    1. Once the commercial blogs came online, and brought the SEO game in, Google started dropping hobby blogs down spectacularly. If you’re not a Google News source, you may as well not exist. I don’t know whether to blame Google for the death of the hobby blog, or it died because blogging was a victim of its own success. Probably a bit of both.

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